How much technology do you use in your business? I’m looking around HiViz Safety HQ …. we have the usual office tech here – computers and laptops, printers, shredders, tablets, and this level of technology seems to be enough to help us do our jobs really well.
But there is a trend emerging that businesses are investing in new technologies with increasing momentum in order to save time, money, materials and space. But an article in the IOSH magazine (June 2018) warns of the negative impacts of new technology on workforces.
A report published by the Scottish Government and the Scottish Trades Union Congress calls for more workplace control over new technologies to guarantee employees’ safety and health when new systems are introduced, and here’s why.
There is evidence that artificial intelligence scheduling and new data-input systems are being imposed in workplaces including shops, call centers and public services offices, leading to increased workloads and stress.
So let’s look at some examples of how this can come about. Automated systems are being used to set work targets to maximize performance, targets which are in human terms unrealistic. Scheduling systems that are designed to create efficient work rotas for employees are creating shifts with no patterns, blurring the lines of home and work life and ultimately leading to disruption, anxiety, isolation and stress in employees.
So how can we move forward with technological advances designed to help our businesses, but in a safe and responsible way? The STUC general secretary Grahame Smith says, “Workers must be involved in how automation is introduced, shaping or controlling their own workplaces through collective trade union involvement. Otherwise we are likely to see automation pursued as a cost-cutting, profit-driven measure, implemented without proper training or controls, or used to abuse staff with inappropriate targets or high levels of surveillance.”
If you would like to take control of the Health and Safety for your employees and your business then visit the HiViz Safety website.
If you’d prefer to get in touch with one of our experienced Health and Safety Consultants then go to www.prosafeuk.co.uk
Read more Health & Safety related articles on the IOSH magazine website